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ECS Student wins leadership award

Posted On : September 15th, 2009

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Sacramento State’s Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Chapter President Ruben Velazquez ended the year on a good note, winning first place at the National Institute for Leadership Advancement conference, held in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, Aug. 5-9. The first place win represented Sacramento State on a national level, in partnership with seven other universities.

Competitors included Virginia Tech; University of Miami; Stevens University; University of Idaho; University of Arlington, Texas; and UC Riverside.

“We first had to present our homemade video to a group of three judges, who were from the SHPE national board and corporate sponsors,” Velazquez said. “We had to wait to see if we placed and then present in front of the whole NILA Conference. The top three winners were announced at the Leadership Banquet.”

Chapter leaders also participated in workshops focusing on topics such as strategic planning, networking and chapter management at the conference, as well as developing strong leadership skills.

In addition to the workshops during the whole day, chapter leaders also worked on case studies competitions. The objective was to evaluate membership issues that work against the organization’s mission to develop professional engineers. The group’s goal was to present a realistic “Codes of Conduct Among the SHPE National Membership.” Sacramento State, along with six other universities, presented an approach to the problem - a demerit point system to encourage good member participation in order to develop quality Latino engineers with technical talent and who graduate with a more marketable image. Many more schools across the nation participated, including UC Berkeley, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“The work ethic and late nights of critical thinking really reinforced our standards and experiences,” Velazquez says. “We all knew we would finish with strong bonds among one another and a lifetime experience. Little did we know we would also walk out with the nation-wide first prize.”

For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs Office at (916) 278-6156.

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